Sixers' Young playing at all-star level

76ers power forward Thaddeus Young drives on Suns power forward Marcus Morris. (Rick Scuteri/AP)
76ers power forward Thaddeus Young drives on Suns power forward Marcus Morris. (Rick Scuteri/AP)
Posted: January 02, 2014

DENVER - On a beautiful night in Los Angeles, it was hard to imagine Thaddeus Young playing better.

That's been going on for two weeks now, since the 76er scored 25 points in an overtime victory against Brooklyn. But on Sunday, the 25-year-old power forward continued a run of greatness that has been unprecedented since Allen Iverson wore a Sixers uniform.

Young had 25 points, nine rebounds, three assists, three steals and a blocked shot in the team's first road win in 14 tries.

That marked the fourth consecutive game in which he scored at least 25 points. That's the longest streak by a Sixer since Iverson did so in seven straight games from Nov. 18, 2006, to Dec. 6, 2006.

Young sandwiched his 25-point games around back-to-back 30-point efforts against Milwaukee and Phoenix. He will look to keep it going Wednesday when the Sixers (9-21) face Denver (14-16) at the Pepsi Center.

"I think Thaddeus' last [four] games are off the charts," coach Brett Brown said. "It's at an all-star type of level. He's playing with versatility and a toughness and a leadership. It's just a real strong package that he's showing us.

"I really feel, the last [four games] if that's what he is, he's something special."

For the season, the seventh-year veteran is averaging 17.6 points, 6.9 rebounds, 1.7 assists, and 1.5 steals, and is shooting 43.3 percent on three-pointers.

Young's all-star level of play is partly due to trade rumors that were reported a few weeks ago. Believing that they were an attack on his character, Young, who denied the trade rumors at the time, said he used them as motivation.

Still, Young, who is being shopped around in potential trades, knows that some question his ability.

"I just want to prove that I can be a starting four in this league," he said, "prove that I'm not a sixth-man player."

Whether or not the trade rumors are true, Young's recent play has raised his trade value. He's been using his athleticism and versatility to get the best of the normally bigger power forwards who guard him.

Young made 10 consecutive three-pointers over a 21/2-game stretch against Brooklyn, Milwaukee, and Phoenix. He went on to make 11 of 14 during the three games before missing his three attempts in Sunday's win at Los Angeles.

Moultrie's progress

Reserve power forward Arnett Moultrie participated in a five-on-five scrimmage for the first time this season Tuesday.

"I'm glad to be out there, making progress," said the 6-foot-10, 240-pounder, who had surgery on his left ankle in the preseason. "Obviously, I was a little winded."

Moultrie is expected to play in his first game in January.


kpompey@phillynews.com

@PompeyOnSixers

inquirer.com/deepsixer

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